How can a showroom design reflect the essence of the product it showcases? This is precisely what architect Samir Dharurkar of We Architects has tried to explore in the design scheme of the Seven East store.
Seven East showcases multi designer ethnic cultural wear. It has a mixture of stitched and unstitched pieces as well as several mix and match options. “Since we were also establishing a new brand, we wanted customers to relate it with the store ambience,” says Dharurkar. Thus, after a careful study of the brand, they translated the essence of the same into the design.
The clothing line showcased in the store interprets natural elements through the embroidery, lace design, motifs and fabric design. It follows that nature and the surrounding environment take centre stage in the design of the store. What better way to do this than through motifs?
Motifs, especially natural motifs are thus central to the design. Indian traditional motifs that have been popular with women find their way into the store design from the ensembles. These statement making motifs could be on the screens, racks, glasses, ceilings, supports or even handles.
The floral motif is a favorite. After all, flowers are symbols of happiness and prosperity and this belief is also echoed in the garments. The champa and jasmine flowers are symbols of fertility and the pipal leaf motif signifies auspicious occasions and abundance. The paisley print on glass enhances the display space dramatically, especially since it is at the entrance. This motif is infallibly synonymous with Indian ethnic wear and thus the designer deemed it appropriate to use it here.
The motifs seem to speak to the customer by establishing a meaning with their sheer presence. Another traditional design element used in keeping with the mood of the store is the screen or jaali. It is used as a partition in the store. A jaali behind the cash counter forms the focal point of the store as it radiates rows of light outwards. The brown mirror placed behind reflects the ceiling and gives the effect of enhancing the space. Another jaali serves as a background for the mannequins and brings the clothing to life.
The interior space design is very simple and is highly effective. The racks are all along the four walls of the room with plenty of room around the middle island; this ensures a smooth traffic flow. Moreover, this also helps customers focus their attention on the clothes.
The display racks have storage both above and below them, providing for ample display space. The architects have used white generously. Translucent white Barisol provides a firm background for the store collection to show up. White coloured walls and ceilings makes the space appear spacious. The Crema Marfil Italian marble gives a stunningly bright look to the store. This scratch-free and stainless flooring helps retain the fresh look of store throughout the day.
How has the response to the look been? “Customers have appreciated our look and feel and accepted us as a brand for bringing new fashion to India. We have used similar elements in a repetitive way in different stores at various locations, maintaining the same ambience at all stores. Customers are thus able to recognize the brand and relate their selves with us. Our customer feedback books are full of good remarks!” claims Dharurkar.
It is applause well deserved. “Understanding of a new brand and achieving the same through creative designs with short deadlines and a tight budget was a real challenge. It is comparatively easy to work for an established brand as things are defined and elements are set,” explains Dharurkar. Considering that they achieved all this in a record time of 27 days is highly commendable.
While simplicity is paramount in the design, it is equally stately and elegant. The quiet exuberance exuded by the showroom influences the customer and provides a beautiful experience within which one can easily make a purchase!
Text By Dhanishta Shah
Photographs Parnil Vishwasrao